THE SPINES OF STICKLEBACKS (GASTEROSTEUS AND PYGOSTEUS) AS MEANS OF DEFENCE AGAINST PREDATORS (PERCA AND ESOX) by R. HOOGLAND, D. MORRIS and N. TINBERGEN (Department of Zoology, University of Leiden, Department of Zoology and Com- parative Anatomy, University of Oxford and Department of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy, University of Oxford) (With 15 Figs.) (Rec. 27-1-1956) 1. INTRODUCTION Many species of fish have evolved sharp spines which are often alleged to serve as defensive weapons against predators. Most frequently these spines are modified fin-rays. The sticklebacks possess this type, and it was the purpose of this study to analyse the effect of these weapons upon two predators, the Perch (Perca fluviatilis L.) and the Pike (Esox lucius L.). The species of stickleback studied were the Three-spined Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.) and the Ten-spined Stickleback (Pygosteus pungitius L.), the only two members of the family which occur in European freshwaters. The reactions of the predators to these fish were compared with those to various non-spined freshwater fish, viz., the Minnow (Phoxi- nus phoxinus (L.)), the Roach (Rutilus rutilus (L.)), the Rudd (Scardinius 206 erythrophthalmus (L.)), and the Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius (L.)) 1). These two predators and five prey species
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1956
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